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Order of Malta Australia


Beirut explosion: Malteser International mobilizes support for people affected


Hospitals in Beirut suffered extensive damage, including a hospital supported by our partner, the Lebanese Association of the Knights of Malta (LAKM). Photo: LAKM/Malteser International

Beirut. On Tuesday evening in Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut, a massive explosion at the port sent an enormous blast wave that devastated communities within a 10km radius, leaving at least a hundred people dead and some 4,000 injured.

Raymond Tarabay, Partner Coordinator for Malteser International in Lebanon said: “I have never seen so many injured people in my life. Hospitals in the city have been destroyed, many others are completely overwhelmed. Thousands of families have lost their homes and had to sleep on the streets last night. People now urgently need emergency supplies, shelter and psychosocial support.”

The Lebanese Association of the Knights of Malta (LAKM), Malteser International’s partner on the ground is already treating casualties and have mobilized volunteer teams to provide practical support for the vulnerable, especially elderly people and persons with disabilities.

“We are pulling together every medical capacity at our disposal in Lebanon. Our mobile medical teams on the Syrian border are providing care for people in the region. These teams will be needed in Beirut within the next days,” said Clemens Mirbach, Country Coordinator for Lebanon at Malteser International.

The explosion comes at a difficult time for Lebanon. In addition to carrying a huge burden of the region’s refugee crisis, the country is suffering its worst economic crisis in decades. Almost half of the Lebanese population live in poverty, with unemployment at 35 percent. Hospitals are also struggling to cope with a rising number of coronavirus cases.

“We may also be facing the threat of a major food crisis,” said Tarabay. “The destruction of the port will now make it harder to import food. The consequences of this disaster will continue to have an impact for a long time to come, but for now the focus is on ensuring survival of people affected.”

Malteser International has been working in cooperation with the Lebanese Association of the Knights of Malta since 2014, providing medical care for Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities.

If you wish to make a further donation you can do so online through our Emergency Relief Fund donation page. Gifts $2 and more are tax deductible.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.